Media Statement


Posted on


27 January 2023

Badan Warisan Malaysia deplores Penang Island City Hall’s (MBPP) approval to instruct the demolition of the Rex Cinema at Jalan Burma in Georgetown, Penang. This is despite the Mayor of City Council of Penang Island saying that flaws in the 2030 draft Penang Island local plan will be rectified, as reported in the media on 5 January 2023.

This 84 year-old Art Deco cinema possesses architectural, social, cultural and heritage significance not only for Penangites but for all Malaysians. It is imperative that we conserve and protect Rex Cinema for future generations to enjoy.

Preserving only the facade will not be enough. The Rex Cinema was built with significant interior Art Deco features and details, and these should be maintained. Art Deco architecture is much appreciated and celebrated all over the world.

Badan Warisan Malaysia strongly supports the heritage and conservation groups in Penang, and their great efforts made to preserve the historic heritage environment of Georgetown, Penang.

The recent demolition of Clove Hall residence, which is in proximity to Rex Cinema, is another irreplaceable loss of a historic piece of architecture of the island.

We wish and encourage MBPP to be more supportive and sensitive to preserve and protect Georgetown’s rich built heritage, including buildings and sites beyond the UNESCO protected boundaries. It is this unique heritage that makes Penang one of the most significant places to visit in Malaysia.

Cities in Malaysia like Penang and Malacca that have many buildings and neighbourhoods of heritage value, must take the lead in preservation, conservation and other environmental matters. These cities must balance the old with the new and cannot always take the easy route to development. Local Authorities must be proactive in these matters.

Lim Wei-Ling, President

& Badan Warisan Malaysia Council 2023

Media Statement: Convent Bukit Nanas

Posted on Updated on


20 April 2021

Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM) is very concerned to learn that the land lease for Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) at Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur will not be renewed when the current lease ends in September 2021. This recent decision by Jabatan Tanah dan Galian (Land and Mines Department) poses a serious threat to the very existence of this 100+ years old heritage school, in its present form and location.

CBN shifted to its present site in Bukit Nanas in 1909. The school was built by the Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya) and designed by two government architects, Mr Huxley assisted by Mr Kesteven (the latter also designed the Sulaiman Building on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin in 1926 and the Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque in Klang in 1933) echoing the lines of Gothic style European style monasteries and colleges where the European missionary nuns came from.

Convent Bukit Nanas like all great schools and colleges in the world, possesses a legacy of fine educational traditions and architectural buildings. It would be a tragic loss to our nation that this fine legacy is carelessly destroyed if that corner of Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Nanas is further developed.

Badan Warisan Malaysia therefore calls upon all relevant authorities, including Jabatan Warisan Negara, to ensure that CBN’s built heritage is preserved by a Gazettal as a Heritage Site, and that the land lease be extended for the continued existence of the heritage school there.

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